License to sew
In primary school in textiles class we were all given these rather spiffy "Sewing machine driver's licenses" when we had learned how to operate a sewing machine properly. I had of course learned how to work a sewing machine a few years before this, as my grandmother taught me how to sew when I was about 6 or 7.
...my handwriting could have obviously done with some more practice at the time though. :)
I truly appreciate everyone who has taught me the ins and outs of sewing, from my gran and my primary school teachers to Mrs. Earnshaw who taught textiles when I was in secondary school (she along with my grandmother were the biggest influences in me choosing my career path) and all my teachers when I was in Savonlinna studying to become a costumier. All my teachers have added to my love of sewing by sharing their own passion for it, and I am grateful for everything they taught me.
To share some of the vast amount of sewing knowledge that was given to me, here's a little tutorial on sewing perfect corners. I learned this while in Savonlinna, and this trick makes making tidy corners so much easier and quicker.
First sew one side of whatever it is that you're making. I'm using a contrasting thread here to show the stitches better, but it's of course best to use thread that matches your fabric.
Fold the seam allowance forward along the stitch line and pin it down (or simply hold it down if you can't be bothered to fetch your pins from the other table like me).
Sew the other edge of your project, making sure the seam allowance of your previous edge is sewn down too.
Fold the seam allowance down like you did before.
I find it's good to hold the seam allowances in place when turning your piece, so that they'll stay nicely stacked and won't get all rumpled in the process. It does help to have small fingers that don't get in the way when working with smaller pieces.
Turn your piece right side out.
Ta-dah! You've made a really nice corner!
I also made a video of this process, you can view it here: video!
The best thing about making corners like this is that they're strong and durable because there's no need to clip the seam allowances, and the very tip of the corner is always nice and sharp.
So, go forth and conquer those corners and spread the love of sewing everyone!